“… I would skip this movie and jump straight to the Avengers which does the character justice.”
I’m continuing my Marvel Cinematic Review-niverse with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. The Incredible Hulk is a movie, much like the name suggests, about the Incredible Hulk. It is interesting because it was preceded by the 2003 Ang Lee film entitled Hulk, so this movie opts to kind of skip the origin story. The Incredible Hulk follows Bruce Banner as he avoids the military all the while trying to find a cure for his gamma radiation that turns him into a big green monster when he is angry.
The Incredible Hulk is a strange movie because as I said it cut out the origin story (only showing pieces of it in a flashback during the opening credits), but it held itself back by focusing too much on exposition. It feels to me that the filmmakers wanted to sort of retcon the old 2003 Hulk, but they were afraid to do the entire origin story again. So instead, they opted to skip the actual event that makes Bruce Banner the Hulk and make all of the characters really basic so we can figure them out. This movie would have benefited from the first 20 minutes being origin story. We could have been introduced to the characters, found out their relationships to one another, then witness Bruce’s accident, and then maybe a flash forward to when he is hiding out in Brazil. Instead we were thrown into the action, but it felt that the characters were acting abnormally so that we (the audience) could get a feel for them. It is also because of this that the story seems really slowed down, and uneventful. Instead of getting all of the origin story shit out of the way, you have a constant sprinkle of it throughout the entire movie which really slows down the plot and hurts the movie. To me, the movie didn’t want to commit to either a full blown origin story, or a full blown action assuming the audience already knows who the hulk is. Instead, it rides that line for the entirety of the film, which makes it boring to watch a lot of the time. Like I mentioned before, the characters were pretty much stripped down to their barebones archetypes. You have Betty, Bruce’s previous girlfriend (?) who leaves her current boyfriend when she sees Bruce again. You have the army general who doesn’t give a shit about anyone else, and because of that he is unnecessarily vague when speaking to people. And then you have Bruce Banner, who wasn’t particularly badly written, he was just a little boring. I guess that fits with the character though. All of this could have been because of the acting (which wasn’t great, save for a few performances), or the acting could have seemed bad because of the writing. Either way, nobody won by being a part of The Incredible Hulk. And why the fuck did the army straight up kill people in New York? Those motherfuckers fired mini guns into apartment buildings that were filled with people. The plot of Captain America Civil War is that the government wants to regulate the Avengers because they sometimes kill people. Maybe the government should take a good hard look at themselves before they go pointing fingers. The CG in this movie was also pretty terrible. Both the Hulk and Abomination looked plastic whenever they had to act against a real person. And it was always painfully apparent whenever the actors were in front of a green screen. I don’t understand how the CG could be so good in Iron Man, and then Marvel lets it go down the shitter for the Incredible Hulk. Apart form all of that I found that the score was alright if not a little ham-fisted, and the cinematography was pretty good. The last thing I want to bring up is why the fuck did they put the after-credits scene before the credits. You could tell that it was meant to be the after credits scenes, because it completely changed the tone of the ending. It was like the filmmakers weren’t confident that people would want to sit through the credits after The Incredible Hulk. That was a fair assumption because I turned that movie off as soon as I could.
Overall The Incredible Hulk is a poor attempt at rebooting the character of the Hulk, and honestly I would skip this movie and jump straight to the Avengers which does the character justice.
I give The Incredible Hulk a C